If the late nineties and early noughties feel like a long time ago to you, imagine how Conrad Lambert must feel. It was back then that, after a couple of entries on the UK singles charts, he signed to a major and released a debut album that never took off quite like many predicted it would. He might well tell you, though, that it turned out to be a blessing in disguise; his career since, under the recording name Merz, has evidently been one free of commercial pressure, with shows in the unlikeliest of locations and apparently no real limit to the type of artist he’s happy to collaborate with, scored through a fascinating sixteen-year career.

This fourth album was also evidently produced in an environment free of external duress; over the course of eight tracks that showcase his multi-instrumental talent to the full, he swings between the minimal electronica of twelve-minute opener ‘Shrug’ to the distorted calypso of ‘Serene’ with real verve, via barely-there, guitar-driven pieces like ‘Dear Ghost’. An accomplished – if often jarringly diffuse – effort.


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